Selous Scouts




The Selous Scouts--these shaggy-haired guys with shorts and FN FALs--were named after Frederick Courtney Selous, who was a 19th Century hunter and a kind of real-life Allan Quartermain. Their grueling selection process featured weeks alone in the bush with no food or water except that which they could hunt, kill or find themselves.

One interesting aspect of training was the rotting baboon carcass tethered to a pole that a trainee would have to look at and smell for 4 or 5 days--while being denied food. At the end of that time he was allowed to eat the rotten baboon.

The Selous Scouts were static-line and free-fall qualified parachutists and combat divers. They tore around in home-made APCs called "PIGS" and specialized in bush tracking and pseudo-ops, i.e., disguising themselves as the enemy. They were integrated, unlike much of the Rhodesian Security Forces at the time, and roamed far from Rhodesian territory on cross-border missions. They provided deep recon for Rhodesian SAS and killed a high percentage of ZIPRA and ZANLA guerrillas.

They were disbanded in 1980, but they've made their mark in the history of unconventional warfare. I recommend research of the Selous Scouts for the student of special warfare.
My old Sgm, Dennis Croukamp, wrote a combat memoir of his career in the Rhodesian army and the Selous Scouts which is a great read. Originally self published in 2005 as “Only my Friends Call Me Crouks” it is now available through Paladin Press as “The Bush War in Rhodesia.” The link below provides a brief synopsis and ordering info for anyone interested